In a previous article I talked about how to sync unconverted videos in iTunes. In this article I’ll go through how to sync videos without having to use iTunes at all.
There are a few ways of using VLC to bypass the need for iTunes when it comes to syncing videos. You can transfer without iTunes via your browser, Dropbox and even from Web Servers and Network Streams.
In the following demonstrations of transferring without iTunes I will use VLC for iOS. You can get your free copy from the App Store: VLC for iOS
Sync without iTunes via Browser
This method completely negates having to use iTunes at all to sync your Movies and TV Shows. Instead of iTunes, you use a browser. For this demonstration I used Safari, you can however use any browser you want.
First thing you want to do is open VLC on your iOS device. Once opened, tap the little VLC logo located at the upper-left of the app and turn the “Wi-Fi Upload” option to the “ON” position.
When you switch it to the “ON” position it will display a series of digests (URL). The url it gave me was 192.168.0.14:8888. Yours may be different, just type in it exactly as it’s shown into your computers browser and press the return key.
For this to work both your computer and iOS device have to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
Once you’re at the VLC page in your browser you’ll see a very simple interface (like the above screenshot). Either drag and drop videos to have them automatically sync over to your iOS device or click the “Upload files” button on the upper right. A progress bar will appear showing the progress once the video starts transferring.
Sync Videos via Dropbox
Transferring your Dropbox videos to VLC is incredibly simple, especially if you already have the Dropbox app installed. If you aren’t sure what Dropbox is you can read my other article about it here: Dropbox app
You don’t actually need the Dropbox app installed, you just need a Dropbox account for this.
With the app: Tap the upper left VLC button in the VLC app and then tap the Dropbox button. You will automatically be switched to the Dropbox app and just be asked if you’d like to grant VLC for iOS access to all files and folders in your Dropbox (adjacent screenshot example).
Without the app: Tap the upper left VLC button then the Dropbox button. Enter the email address you used to create the Dropbox account and then enter your password.
I prefer having the Dropbox app installed because it is setup to automatically sync any videos that I take on my iPhone to my Dropbox account… also because it’s an awesome service and an awesome app.
Download from Web Server
Do you have a URL of a video from a website? Just paste it into the “Download from Web Server” feature and it will start downloading. As you can see in the above image the video is in the .avi format. AVI is one of the most popular formats out there and it’s normally not supported by iOS at all. In fact iTunes won’t even let you transfer an AVI file over. VLC will have no problem transferring it.
There is also a Network Stream function that is much like the Download from Web Server feature. Enter url of the Network Stream into the “Open Network Stream” function in VLC.
~ Final Thoughts ~
All of the above options allow you to transfer videos without iTunes, the downside is that they all involve transferring over Wi-Fi or online. In most cases this is slower than syncing over a USB connection. However if you hate iTunes these methods will work great for you.
If you want to use VLC in conjunction with iTunes to sync over USB then read my other article: Sync Videos via iTunes to iPhone & iPad without Converting.